December 6, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 39°F


Commencement changes contribute to frustration

Commencement has slowly become synonymous with apprehension since the nationwide cancellation of graduation ceremonies in Spring 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Like many collegiate institutions, Ithaca College has slowly reintegrated commencement ceremonies over the past two years. This task is daunting because of the scale and impact of the event, yet it’s an experience students look forward to since they began their college journey.

Melanie Stein, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, said in an email Oct. 27 that the undergraduate Class of 2023 is having one large commencement ceremony for the first time since 2019, rather than the two ceremonies that have been held in the past couple of years. However, it will be held in the Glazer Arena instead of outside at the Butterfield Stadium as it was in years prior to 2020.

Because of limited space, the number of tickets will be limited to only four per student. This once again poses frustrating decisions for many students and families, like deciding which members you will bring, or people having to go through a secondary source to buy an extra ticket for another member. Additionally, the graduate commencement is occurring the same weekend, making it even more difficult for families to make travel plans and reservations.

At the same time, many students have not felt the same excitement that can be expected in years past, partly because of internal changes at the college that have occurred during their residency. 

“I don’t know, it’s very weird,” senior Chloe Landau said. “I do feel ready and I kind of want to get out of here, but I don’t know; it’s definitely much much different than I expected.”

The undergraduate Class of 2023 is a unique one. The majority of their time in college has taken place over the course of the pandemic. They endured every operational change, whether it be internal or external. They have expressed exhaustion and frustration, yet they are still enduring. 

Graduation traditions probably won’t ever be the same as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. This commencement will be the finish line at the end of an exhausting and complicated marathon which all participants entered blindly. While graduates may just be ready to graduate, they deserve to celebrate this achievement with the people who made it possible and without any more stress.

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